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curry recipe question--urad dal

In a message dated 97-05-30 09:10:42 EDT, you write:

<< The following is a way of making curries which is quick, simple, adapts to
 various vegetables, and is delicious.  This is a south Indian style and for
 those of you who have had only brownish, oily glop at Indian restaurants,
 this recipe should be a real treat!
 1 tsp cumin seeds
 1 tsp black mustard seeds
 1 tsp whole fenugreek
 2 tsp urad dal (avail. in Indian groceries--it's white in its split form,
 which is what you want)
 1 onion, chopped >>

that sounds like a great recipe-- i love using whole spices.  where does the
urad dal fit in?  do you add it with the onions???  is it to serve as a

there's a wonderful Indian grocery in Arlington called "Indian Spices and
Appliances"  (love the name!)  on Wilson Blvd between Ballston and Clarendon.
they have all these spices and more.       joanna in dc